GradTech Women Leading Technology and Innovation
Diversity is critical in tech. Having a team from different backgrounds with varying skills and experiences enables greater creativity, innovation and success. Despite this, women remain widely underrepresented in technology roles. According to an article from Connected World, “For more than a decade now the U.S. Dept. of Labor has been reporting numbers that women make up less than 50% of the workforce and hold under 25% of the IT positions.”
One of the core values at GradTech, Entech’s innovative team-based talent enablement program, is supporting diversity, including initiatives that encourage training and support for women following their passions in technology. Our team knows all too well that for women, it can be intimidating getting involved in the tech world. Even putting themselves out there to learn about it can be intimidating. Through GradTech, our goal is to create a collaborative environment where diversity is championed and all team members can find the mentoring, support, and training tools they need to fulfill their potential and take their careers to the next level.
Recently, I had the chance to catch up with two of our fearless female leaders in GradTech, Eden Schiller and Jenna Pascual, to learn more about their career paths, experiences in GradTech and how they are currently taking the tech industry by storm.
Fast Tracking Future Leaders
Eden Schiller joined GradTech on our Johnson & Johnson team in June 2019 but her interest in technology started long before that. As a child, her aptitude of understanding gaming consoles and computers, coupled with her unique problem-solving skills sparked her curiosity in the field. Fast forward to her young adult years where with the help of GradTech, Eden has utilized her collegiate engineering background and software development skills to solve real business challenges at Johnson & Johnson. A few of Eden’s accomplishments include driving innovation in a division focused on advancing Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) through 3D objects, and becoming proficient in software development languages needed for both frontend and backend engineering.
Similarly, GradTech’s Jenna Pascual took an early interest in technology before coming onboard the GradTech team at Johnson & Johnson. As a child, she had learned about various new technologies from her father who is a professional in the industry. It wasn’t until her junior year of high school that she knew she wanted to take her prowess in technology to pursue a career in the tech space. Following completion of her computer science degree in college, Jenna joined GradTech and has since gone on to advance integral projects as a Software Engineer, executing data migrations, coding, implementing web design, conducting server maintenance and initiating automation of IT processes.
“Is There Such a Thing as a Female Engineer?”
According to an article from WeAreTechWomen, 53% of young women wish to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). However, unfortunately 78% of them are put off by the gender barriers that currently exist in the sector. “There had always been this bias that I had to go up against as a woman with interests in technology. In fact, growing up I even had a doctor that would tell me “Women aren’t naturally good at math and science,” Eden explained. What Eden finds really incredible about GradTech is that not only does half her team consist of women, but there is a strong camaraderie between them as like-minded women in software engineering. With men normally comprising of a high percentage of roles in the tech space, it can be difficult as a woman trying to compete, but through GradTech, Eden feels that women are consistently celebrated and encouraged on their journey.
Moreover, confidence plays a big part in the tech space. For Jenna, she was initially a bit hesitant to get started in the field. Growing up, it had been difficult for her to find other women who shared the same interests in technology. “When I joined GradTech, I was actually hired with two other women. I thought that was really cool. Also, working with a GradTech recruiter who supported women’s empowerment, and seeing many women in high positions boosted my confidence getting started the field,” Jenna stated. More specifically, GradTech provided her with the opportunities and resources that sparked her love of software development and gave her more pride for what she does every day.
Finding a Support System
It is important for women in tech to find a mentor, whether that is a relative or someone in the tech industry you admire. In fact, according to Open View Partners, “A lack of mentors and role models is one of the industry’s biggest shortcomings.” For both Eden and Jenna, mentorship is an important part of their GradTech experience.
For Jenna, what she enjoys most about having GradTech mentors is that they are highly experienced, yet young enough to relate to. This makes it easy for her to ask questions. They are also a reliable source for ongoing guidance in the program and have helped her seamlessly transition into a professional environment. “One of the things I was scared about coming out of college was being thrown to the wolves at a company and left to figure out projects on my own. Having a mentor to work with is a really unique experience that helped me hit the ground running.” Similarly, Eden enjoys how easy it is to talk to her mentor and uplifting his personality is towards the women on their team.
Sky’s the Limit!
It is no secret that both of these women are, and will continue thriving in the professional tech space. Their consistent drive and forward-thinking mentality, paired with the career development tools provided by GradTech have allowed them to make a significant impact where they work and continues to propel their careers forward. We are excited to see what is in store for them in the future!
To learn more about GradTech, join us on February 24th for our free webinar, “From Entry to Executive: Propelling Your Career with GradTech.”